Recently, many of these loyalty rewards programs have come to the realization that they must change how they put these programs together if they are going to increase their share of the market.
One way that has changed over the years is how reward programs have started linking up with various partners to offer more types of rewards for it's members.
Competition between programs is fierce and this is where you, the consumer, can win. Benefits are increasing at incredible rates to lure you into their programs and it has become even easier to qualify for and accrue points for travel.
It used to be that only hotels and airlines offered these programs but now every kind of company and service is getting into the act.
Yahoo.com has decided to make an exclusive partnership with the Intercontinental Hotel Group for priority club members to manage their accounts online.
To earn more of your business and set themselves apart from others, credit card companies have partnered with specific air, hotel, and rental car comapnies to give their members access to awards through the use of tiered systems based on the amount of monthly credit and the type of business the cardholder has used.
Hotels and airlines have begun offering no blackout days as well as making it easier to upgrade your service as an incentive to join their reward programs. By partnering with other companies, they have increased their reward program's visibility thereby making it more accessible to other reward programs. Even the smaller budget hotels have begun initiating allainces with the larger hotel chains to redeem awards at the more upscale chains.
Amtrak has introduced Select Plus, a 3 Tier Level of their Antrak Gold rewards program which is partnered with Teleflora Flowers and The Rewards Mall to give you even more ways to earn bonus points.
MCI has partnered with Quixtar, and recently, more of the phone industry has followed suit with alliances of their own to win your business. It's not just about price anymore but what bonuses can do to make their service more appealing.
Travel award programs have begun to woo businesses from every field to strengthen their hold on the industry. So, before signing up for any program, first read who they are partnered with. By using the right program, you could earn faster rewards by using the same partners you buy from on a regualr basis, thereby getting maximum value for your dollar.
But, be careful. You don't want to go out of your way to buy things you don't need just to earn points. Research each program and compare the benefits. The rewards will come if you buy smart.
Barry Ferguson is known as "America's Saving Money Man". He is the author of two books called "How To Stop Wasting Money" and "The Saving Money Mindset", and has 15 years of practical, real world experience saving huge amounts of cash every time he shops! How much do you want to save? http://www.howtostopwastingmoney.com